• Medical Science.jpg

Medical Science

BSc (Hons) - single

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

The Medical Science (BSc) degree allows you to study the function of the human body in health and disease at molecular, cellular and systems levels. You will develop key skills and scientific knowledge to prepare you for further training or employment in a range of health care science professions or medical research. The BSc degree has also been designed to provide a foundation for graduate-entry medical school.

A Medical Science degree from Oxford Brookes will put you at the forefront of health-related fields, including research and development.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus / Headington Campus, Marston Road site

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: part-time study is possible

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • You will get the opportunity to go on exciting work placements to enhance your career opportunities through our established links with local hospitals and bioscience organisations.
  • You gain the practical skills employers require by using our state-of-the-art equipment, such as electron and confocal microscopes.
  • You will get to know the other students and lecturers on your course well, as we keep our practical classes small.
  • Our academics are keen to involve you in our research groups. We explore subjects such as genetic damage induced by radiation, the mechanisms of nicotine addiction and how the heart and lungs function in health and disease.
  • With some of the UK's best hospitals on our doorstep, you will have excellent work placement and career opportunities.

The course is structured to give you a sound understanding of medical aspects of the human body in health and disease. It builds on core biomedical science subjects. It is taught at the university by our own staff, with some aspects taught by health professionals from the local hospitals.

A feature of your first year is a series of tutorials with your academic adviser (a member of the teaching staff who is responsible for overseeing your academic progress while you are at university). The tutorials are designed to help you adjust to academic life at university and establish good study habits.

You will follow a programme of compulsory modules in Year 1. If you’re unsure about which course to study, there is some flexibility within your subject area once you get here. The first year gives you the opportunity to experience a broad range of subjects. It will also give you a better understanding of where you want to focus your second- and third-year studies.

The first-year modules lay the foundation for the advanced modules in Year 2 and your final year where themes are further developed. You will be able to choose modules to suit your particular interest in the molecular life sciences or physiological sciences. The emphasis is on the interdisciplinary nature of causes and treatment of disease. A particular feature of this degree is the option to select a modular pathway that emphasises the physiological principles underpinning medical science at a systems level.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown below.

Year 1

Year 2 and final year

  • Biochemistry of Cell Function (double)
  • Cellular Pathology
  • Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology (double)
  • Evidence-Based Medicine and Diagnostics
  • Haematology and Immunology
  • Independent Study in Life Sciences
  • Infection, Immunity and Immunology
  • Integrated Physiology (double)
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics (double)
  • Molecular Biology of Cancer
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Neuroscience (double)
  • Pathophysiology (double)
  • Project (double)
  • Research Methods for Life Scientists
  • Science and Humanity
  • Special Study in Life Sciences
  • Work Experience

Study abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning methods include lectures, practicals, tutorials, seminars and surgeries. Medical science is a practical subject and we have a very good range of equipment, including high-performance liquid chromatography equipment, confocal and electron microscopes, and specialised laboratories for tissue culture, microbiology, physiology and microscopy.

You will have the opportunity to attend seminars given by visiting speakers from around the world.

As well as delivering this course with local hospitals, we work alongside colleagues who are in the vanguard of research. This includes work on DNA repair, disease biofilms, clinically important immunohistochemistry tests and deep brain stimulation for symptom relief. Our research in these areas underpins this course.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 27%73%0%
2 21%79%0%
3 21%79%0%

Approach to assessment

The course includes a variety of teaching, learning and assessment methods that are informed by contemporary practice in science teaching in higher education. Assessment methods include essays, reviews, examinations, laboratory or field notebooks, scientific reports, posters and oral presentations. Reflective learning is encouraged through use of self, peer or staff formative feedback on assignments, group work and project work, and reflective diaries.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 45%0%55%
2 31%0%69%
3 31%0%69%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £14,000 2019/20: £14,280

*Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics

A-Level: BBC - preferred subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 30 points


Students studying more than one science subject may receive a lower offer.
We seek to admit students who have the potential to make good scientists and accept that qualifications are not the only indicator of future potential. Typical offers also include:
  • A-level grades BB plus 2 AS-levels at grade C (equivalent to 112 points). 
  • 1 12-unit vocational A-level grade BB plus 1 A-level or 2 AS-levels at grade C
  • other recognised qualifications eg BTEC Nationals or Scottish qualifications.
If your combination of qualifications doesn't match our typical offer, please contact our admissions tutor.

Specific entry requirements

A-Level: You must have studied science post-16, either at A-level or equivalent. Preferred A-level subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Human Biology and Physics

GCSE: 4 GCSEs at Grade 4 (C), or above, including Mathematics, English Language and 2 Sciences

You must have studied science post-16, either at A-level or equivalent qualification. If you do not have a background in science, we encourage you to consider our Life Sciences foundation year, taught at Abingdon and Witney College. Successful completion of this enables students to progress on to the BSc Medical Science (and a range of undergraduate degrees in the faculty - see website for more details).

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an  international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our  pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

International applicants

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is home to leading health care providers such as the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. Oxford Brookes has long-standing relationships with several of the hospitals within the trust. As well as staff involvement in course development and delivery, the hospitals provide excellent work experience and career opportunities for our students.

Recognised as one of Europe's leading centres of enterprise, innovation and scientific knowledge, Oxfordshire is also a bioscience hotspot, with the Oxford, Milton, Begbroke and Harwell science parks in the county.

Because Oxford is one of the world's great academic cities, it is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across education, science, the arts and many other subjects.

In addition to our own excellent libraries and resource centres, our students have access to the world-renowned Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Science Library.

Support for students studying Medical Science

Our Personal and Academic Support System (PASS) is gaining national and international recognition for its proactive approach to personal tutoring. It recognises that students need to make various adjustments as they move into higher education, whether from school or employment.

The system encompasses three elements:

  • a structured group tutorial programme
  • an academic adviser who will help you to plan your degree programme and future career
  • interaction with other students on your course.

The first stage includes regular seminars covering a wide range of subjects including research skills, understanding assessment criteria and making the most of coursework feedback. Our programme also helps students adjust to university life by developing their transferable skills.

Secondly our academic staff monitor your progress regularly to check that you are maximising your potential. If you experience academic difficulties we can arrange for you to receive academic mentoring support.

Thirdly if you are faced with challenges that affect your ability to study, such as illness, bereavement, depression, financial difficulties or accommodation issues, we will work with you in finding a way forward. Please talk to your academic adviser or our student support team. Oxford Brookes also offers a range of excellent services to support you.

Specialist facilities

Students will have access to a range of facilities including our British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) accredited laboratory in addition to our Human Performance Unit and Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation Unit. We also have a very good range of equipment, including high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), confocal and electron microscopes, and specialised laboratories for tissue culture, microbiology, physiology and cell biology.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

A degree in Medical Science from Oxford Brookes is the first step to a wide range of career opportunities in biomedical science, clinical science, health care management and clinical trials co-ordination. Many leading universities around the world now have graduate medical schools. This degree is excellent preparation for entry into medicine or study as a health care practitioner.

As many as 50% of our graduates each year are appointed to research posts in universities, research institutes or biotechnology companies, while others pursue careers allied to medicine and health care.

Our courses are designed to equip you with the skills you need for employment. We put a strong emphasis on developing the multidisciplinary graduate attributes needed to keep ahead in a rapidly changing workplace.

Further study

The BSc degree is well designed to provide a foundation for graduate-entry medical school or further academic training in the life and medical sciences (eg MSc and PhD level degrees).